Breezy upgrade question

Eamonn Sullivan eamonn.sullivan at
Mon Oct 17 17:49:02 UTC 2005

On 17/10/05, R Kimber <rkimber at> wrote:
> On Mon, 17 Oct 2005 17:52:57 +0100
> Eamonn Sullivan <eamonn.sullivan at> wrote:
> > > I don't get upset at the upgrade process - I removed
> > > kubuntu-desktop and keep upgrading easily.  I get upset at the
> > > mentality that says you have to play the game by my rules, using my
> > > ball and wearing team uniforms.  That's _not_ the Linux way - and
> > > it clearly isn't the way envisioned by the *ubuntu-desktop
> > > developers.
> >
> > Really, the level of concern I have about this could fit on the head
> > of a pin. All I'm pointing out to you is that you're asking for a
> > flawless upgrade of thousands of complex programs. It ain't easy. By
> > suggesting that any combination of programs be flawlessly upgraded,
> > you're asking for the developers to solve something that is
> > essentially infinitely complex, because you want abiword and exim. All
> > I said at the start is that you can expect lots of problems that way.
> Infinitely complex? Surely upgrading whatever packages already exist on
> a machine is not technically difficult, so long as the packages are part
> of the supported set of packages.
> - Richard

The problem is that ubuntu-* (base, desktop, etc.) packages *change*
between versions. Components come and go. What the developers use in
order to recognize and respond to the insertion of a USB flash-disk
has changed from Warty to Breezy, for example. If you don't have these
metapackages installed when you dist-upgrade, you can end up in an
inconsistent state (the old hotplugging software together with
software that expects and works with the new hotplugging software).

It's certainly not *impossible* to straighten this out yourself, but
it's isn't dead simple either. I just suggested that installing these
metapackages, even if they temporarily uninstall some things you like,
is the *easiest* way to upgrade between major versions. That's all.


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